Pushed Out or Opting Out? Integrating Perspectives on Gender Differences in Withdrawal Attitudes During Pregnancy. By: Paustian-Underdahl, Samantha C.; Mandeville, Ashley; Eaton, Asia A.; Little, Laura M. Journal of Applied Psychology. Aug2019, Vol. 104 Issue 8, p985-1002. 18p.

In light of recent research suggesting mothers are more likely to withdraw from work than fathers are, we assess the relative contributions of popular “pushed-out” and “opting-out” perspectives over the course of their pregnancies. As pregnancy is a pivotal time for the reevaluation of work and life roles, we investigate the degree to which gender differences in changes in turnover intentions and intentions to return to the workforce are explained by changes in perceived career encouragement from organizational members (a pushed-out factor), as well as changes in the employees’ own career motivation (an opting-out factor), throughout pregnancy. We also examine the relationships between these pushed-out and opting-out variables over time. Using latent growth modeling, we find support for the notion that women’s perceptions of being pushed out may lead to women’s opting out of their organizations.We find that gender (being female) indirectly relates to an increase in turnover intentions and a decrease in career motivation throughout pregnancy, as explained by decreases in perceptions of career encouragement (for women) at work. Theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed.